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Merry Beth Hardy passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, at the age of 72 after a long illness.

Merry was born on June 27, 1947, in St. Louis to the late Frank Thomas and Elizabeth Ann (Howard) Parker. 

Merry spent her early years in Troy, Missouri, before moving to Columbia, Missouri, where Merry attended high school at Hickman High School and the University of Missouri Laboratory School, graduating in 1965. She then attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, receiving her Masters Degree in Social Work in 1971. 

After graduation, Merry married Joseph David Hardy. Shortly thereafter, Merry moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, and then Twin Falls, Idaho, where Merry practiced social work until 1975. She returned to Missouri, eventually coming to live in Fulton, Missouri, and working at the Fulton State Hospital. In 1993, Merry moved to Webster Groves, Missouri, and worked as a psychiatric social worker for the Missouri Department of Mental Health in St. Louis until her retirement. 

After retirement, Merry became an antiques dealer, providing an outlet for her longtime love of antique china, linens and other collectibles. In 2006, she and Joseph moved to Howard County near Fayette, Missouri, where they lived at the time of her death.

Merry was an avid genealogist and doted on her granddaughters and dogs. She also enjoyed gardening and fly fishing and had a lifelong love of books. She maintained a wide circle of friends, whom she often regaled with long, funny stories about her childhood and interesting genealogical finds. Merry was a lifelong Democrat. 

Merry is survived by her husband Joseph, daughter Sarah Hardy and son-in-law Tony Thebeau, son Thomas Hardy and daughter-in-law Amelia, and grandchildren Sylvia and Lucy. Merry was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Dr. John Parker and Rebecca Stephens. 

Merry did not want a traditional funeral, but the family will hold a memorial service at Stephens Lake Reichmann Pavilion in Columbia, Missouri, on October 13, 2019, from 2-5 p.m.

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